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Press Release: The Iron Duke

The Iron Duke restoration projected awarded £2,055,000 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund

The project to save The Iron Duke, a grade II listed art deco public house on Great Yarmouth’s seafront, took a major step forward after receiving initial support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund after a first round pass with development funding

The project will deliver the comprehensive restoration and sustainable reuse of this important historic building as well as a full programme of engagement, training and volunteering. The funding was made possible thanks to National Lottery players.

The stage one submission followed significant project development over the last 14 months which included detailed surveying and analysis to understand the building and its condition, a conservation plan and cost plan, business planning and partnering with a commercial operator.

The preservation trust worked hard to ensure that the complexity of the building and its conservation is fully understood, and that a viable and sustainable end use can be delivered.

Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust is delighted to partner with Zak’s a hugely successful and popular Norfolk based restaurant offer who will operate the building on completion of the restoration works with a pub and restaurant.

Over the coming months Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust will undertake essential roof repairs and finalise architectural plans.

Bernard Williamson Chair of Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust said:

“The Iron Duke is an incredibly important historic building and part of the towns amazing heritage. We are absolutely delighted with this support from National Lottery players and The National Lottery Heritage Fund which will enable us to undertake a full restoration and provide a legacy of training and engagement.”

Ian Hacon co-owner of Zak’s said:

“Chris and I are very excited about this project; within our existing sites, we have three historic venues, and the fourth is of a similar size to the Iron Duke, so we can really add value to this project. More importantly it’s an iconic building that needs to be preserved with a sustainable use. We are looking forward to the partnership with Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust to make this happen”.

Darren Barker MBE Project Director for Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust said:

“The trust has been working hard behind the scenes to make sure everything was in place to increase our chances of securing funding. It is vital with such a competitive funding pot that our application was robust, credible and will deliver a long-term solution.”

About The National Lottery Heritage Fund

· The National Lottery Heritage Fund grant applications over £250,000 are assessed in two rounds. The Iron Duke project has initially been granted round one development funding of £161,329 by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, allowing it to progress with its plans. Detailed proposals are then considered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund at second round, where a final decision is made on the full funding award of £1,893,671

Using money raised by the National Lottery, we inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future. 

Since the National Lottery began in 1994, National Lottery players have raised over £43 billion for projects and more than 635,000 grants have been awarded across the UK.

Each week, thanks to National Lottery players, £30 million is raised for good causes across the UK.

Follow @HeritageFundUK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLotteryHeritageFund

· The Iron Duke is a grade II listed building purchased by GYPT in December 2020. Since purchase the trust has made the building wind and weather tight, undertaken emergency repairs and secured the building against unlawful ingress and vandalism. Undertaken full measured and topographic survey, produced a heritage statement, analysis and research. Undertaken clearance of the grounds, removed accumulated and hazardous waste and undertaken asbestos survey work. Produced a detailed project plan, feasibility study, options appraisal and business plan.

· Zak’s have been serving the diners of Norfolk their authentic American food since 1976. They have 3 restaurants in and around Norwich and have recently acquired the Yankee Traveller in Great Yarmouth, bringing it back into the Zak’s family after 24 years apart. Zak’s is a local family business owned by Ian Hacon and Chris Carr, who both live in Gorleston, and have a long association with the brand prior to their ownership. Find out more at

· Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust was established in 1979 as a registered charity with a vision to preserve, safeguard and promote the cultural heritage of Great Yarmouth. One of the longest running building preservation trusts in the UK the trust acquires heritage assets at risk, fully restores them back to a viable and economic use. The trust has developed and created a pioneering approach to community engagement and training.

Further information

For further information, images and interviews please contact Daren Barker MBE at Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust on 07760 166373


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